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View Full Version : Blem sales - not mine



Gmoney
07-25-2012, 06:47 AM
For anyone looking for cheap fixer-uppers, the eBay sellers, ButlerMusic & musicsales are clearing out a bunch of Lanikai & other blemished ukes. Some have major issues (like twisted necks), but most are clearly simple dings, etc. Many just need some setup work.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=blem&_sacat=16224&_odkw=&_osacat=16224

If you're looking for cheap parts like the neck for a cigarbox build, or a bunch of beater ukes for classes, etc. these could be good deals.

I've bought many items from ButlerMusic w/no issues, but haven't dealt with the other seller.

I may pick up a couple to practice setup & have for give-aways to uke-less individuals I meet from time to time.

Please update the thread if any of you take advantage of these prices & your experience with them.

Mahalo!

mm stan
07-25-2012, 06:49 AM
Aloha Gmoney.....thank you for sharing....

PhilUSAFRet
07-25-2012, 06:53 AM
Saw them, thanks for sharing your experiences with them...more likely to buy from them.

Trinimon
07-25-2012, 07:21 AM
Cool! Thanks for the heads up. Temping to pickup one to keep at the office. :)

Teek
07-26-2012, 09:44 AM
I posted on this topic and seller awhile back and with the same disclaimers, thinking it was a good opportunity for some, and got a bunch of static in replies from members (who apparently don't have strong reading comprehension skills) about how they had twisted necks etc. and that that was a serious issue. The one I had linked to was also just a blem. So to prevent the same backlash you should probably have added DON'T BUY THE ONES WITH THE TWISTED NECKS FOLKS! :rolleyes:

kenikas
07-26-2012, 12:04 PM
Thats a great buy on the Zebrawood concerts. I really like the feel of mine with the wider nut and string spacing, and although they seem overly bright (almost shrill) with the stock Aquilas once I put Worth browns on mine I really like the sound. Looks like some good buys. I've also had good experience buying from Butler, but they are right out of the box, and usually need some set up.

Gmoney
07-31-2012, 04:20 AM
So... updating the thread... I've bought two of these so far ... they are shipping & I'm bidding on a couple more. Anyone looking to try out a baritone, they've got several solid spruce top bari's listed now - starting bids < $25!! I've been wanting to at least try out a bari - this might be the easiest & cheapest way.

I should have reports on the couple that are shipping by this weekend - ordering strings to arrive by the weekend as well since I suspect I may need a set or two. Looking forward to setting these up & adding to the "for gifting" stock. I always like to have a couple of decent seup ukes around that I can pass on to a wanna-be uker - the last one was the owner of a local exotic bird store - She saw my UU shirt & commented that she really wanted to learn to play the uke - she is already a guitarist. Anyway, I showed back up about an hour later with a Lanikai, case, tuner, & chord chart & she almost cried she was so excited!

I also have a stack of cigar boxes ready if I decide to salvage just the neck of one of 'em for a cigar box uke.

Depending on how these work out, I may make Butler Music an offer on several of these off of eBay - to save on bidding & benefit from shipping consolidation (Mississippi to Alabama can't be too expensive anyway). It'd be cool to have enough of these around to start up an after-school uke class & have ukes on hand for those who can't purchase one.

Mahalo!

CousinDerek
07-31-2012, 07:50 AM
Looking at that Lanakai LU-6E with the lifted bridge blem, don't know if it would be an easy fix though!

Gmoney
07-31-2012, 08:04 AM
Looking at that Lanakai LU-6E with the lifted bridge blem, don't know if it would be an easy fix though!

It looks pretty easy, actually. I thought about that one as well. It might be as simple as:


Removing the strings
Inspecting the bridge
Using a thin blade/knife to put Titebond (not Titebond II) under the bridge
Clamping it - this is easier than it may sound
Let the glue set up
restring & play!

Mouthy1
08-01-2012, 04:55 AM
Good lookin' out! I kinda want to try a Bari too. I can lower saddle and nut if that is the issue. I don't want to step on toes and outbid the guy that hooked us up on the deals though! I will be cheap and try some lame bid numbers. Thanks again Big Gmoney!

Gmoney
08-03-2012, 04:55 AM
So... bought two so far... & got those in. Brief summary below:


Model S-C - Spruce top/Rosewood (laminate) back & sides - this one has a VERY small finish "rash" on the lower side of the upper bout. BUT, it is otherwise in great cosmetic shape! Tuned it up, played a few chords, etc. Will check setup later..
Model LU 21-C - This one is the concert version of the LU-21 soprano & has a VERY light matte "finish" - in fact, it is this that very bad finish that draws you to the MANY pits, scrapes & small pits that probably caused it to be graded a second. It looks like its already seen use by a herd of schoolchildren. Tuned up & it plays fine, but will post later when I check out the setup.



I'm watching the others as I still want to pick up a Baritone & maybe another spruce top, but so far, for the price I paid, these are a no-brainer good deal.

Happy hunting!

chhoyle
08-03-2012, 04:20 PM
Thanks for the heads up Gmoney!

I picked up one of the spruce top concerts with a very minor finish blemish for a great price and one of my co-workers is probably going to buy one too. This is a great way to get a decent, inexpensive uke if you can set it up and make adjustments yourself.

Gmoney
08-03-2012, 07:05 PM
Thanks for the heads up Gmoney!

I picked up one of the spruce top concerts with a very minor finish blemish for a great price and one of my co-workers is probably going to buy one too. This is a great way to get a decent, inexpensive uke if you can set it up and make adjustments yourself.

I'm actually loving the Spruce top. I've been playing it off & on through the day & I think this one is maybe a keeper. I did pick up one of the Baritones too, so as soon as it is here, I'll finally get to play around w/a bari w/o a huge investment.

Very easily a great deal if you end up w/one of the ones that is mostly cosmetic & for the price ($28 including shipping for the L-21C), even the worse one is worth the effort. I'm gonna do some sound samples & photos of them both tomorrow sometime.

Mahalo!

strumsilly
08-04-2012, 03:51 AM
Ha, I didn't even see this thread until after I won one of the baritones. I'm very happy with the spruce top with a broken bridge tenor I got from another seller. I just glued it back together and made it a string through. the baritone It won has some cosmetic defects, I'd stay away from any with bowed necks . I'm a little suspicious of the ones with High action. depends on why the action is high,I'd find out if it's a bowed neck so you can stay away from those. there seems to be a bunch of them on the bay right now. good luck, I'll give my impressions when mine arrives.

Gmoney
08-10-2012, 04:50 AM
Two more came in yesterday... I bought one of the Baritone's & another LU-21C Concert. First time I've ever even held a Baritone & I must say, its fun! I tuned it up to the Baritone "standard" DGBE & played around w/it a bit. It holds a tune fine, the intonation is great and I've only found a couple of cosmetic issues.


Exposed fret end - a couple of frets have sharp ends right at the neck join.
The end "graft" at the tail of the uke is crooked! It sits at about an 85 degree angle. :)



The LU-21C only a couple of defects that I've found so far.


The saddle is TOO narrow for the slot, so it is cocked over making the strings fret out - I can wiggle it in the slot & "fix" the problem w/a shim underneath - gonna order saddle blanks.
A couple of very small glue spots near the sound hole - literally appear to be random pinhead-sized splashes



So a Baritone for $19 & the concert for $14 + combined shipment (well packaged by the way), I'm thinking this has been a good couple of purchases.

Remember to read the ads carefully, expect to do some fret, saddle, & maybe nut work & you may end up w/a great beater uke, or equip a uke group w/extras.

Kurtski
08-20-2012, 05:33 PM
I too got a pair of the Lanakai concert ukes. One only needed the nut slots deepened, the other had a crack in the veneer in the back (a bit of glue, light steel wool). Both play nice now. With a little true oil, the finish will not look so rustic. This makes 3 bargain buys from Butler. First was a Baritone spruce top. It needed some fret work and a saddle but it is excellent and was $39.00 shipped. The hard part is explaining this obsession to the wife.

Gmoney
08-20-2012, 06:19 PM
I too got a pair of the Lanakai concert ukes. One only needed the nut slots deepened, the other had a crack in the veneer in the back (a bit of glue, light steel wool). Both play nice now. With a little true oil, the finish will not look so rustic. This makes 3 bargain buys from Butler. First was a Baritone spruce top. It needed some fret work and a saddle but it is excellent and was $39.00 shipped. The hard part is explaining this obsession to the wife.

The Baritone I got has two frets that need hammering/gluing down or replacing, but they're so high up the neck that I'm in no hurry! My wife was a bit intrigued by my "plan", so now I have 3 of the LU-21C's with little real work needed (a saddle here, a fret or two to dress), and "won" one of the Black tenors w/pickup - it will be my Johnny Cash uke. :)

I'm really thinking that once I get them all in, I'll be either giving them away or using them to start a uke class for the kids at my church.

And... will learn a bit about nuts, saddles, & fret maintenance in the process on the cheap.

kkmm
01-28-2013, 12:42 PM
Not knowing this thread in advanced, I bought two tenors from Butler Music this month,

1) LANIKAI LU21TE/BK BLACK GLOSS TENOR ACOUSTIC/ELECTRIC UKULELE
I had to lower the nut action, and file down a couple high frets (that caused string buzz when played)
Also need to do filing on fret ends to smooth them out. Then it plays like a dream.
All these works are expected as part of a new fretted instrument setup.
There are some finish blems, I can't do much since it has a high gloss layer on it. Oh well, but that's why it's cheap and this does not affect the sound in any way.


2) LANIKAI LKP-T TENOR SIZE KOA WOOD UKULELE (about 10 days after the first one)
the high G string did not sustain: I found the nut slot for this string not filed properly, one minute fix and it rings like a bell
couple stain blems, I just use Danish oil to touch up these places and no one can see the blems anymore.
sound much much better than the first one above, this must be due to the KOA wood.
there is a slight neck bow that looks more than a typical neck relief to me, my mandolins and guitars all have a slight relief
So I actually like this better (so damn lucky that I did not get a twisted neck).

Repeat the advise given by another member in this thread one more time:
if you want to buy these blems, make sure to ask the about the state of the neck.
A bowed neck is fixable (very complicate, but very doable, not for the faint hearted).
A twisted neck !!! ABSOLUTE NO (at least for me).

jimmysworking
01-28-2013, 02:25 PM
I bought my first uke from Butler Music, it is a blem LU-21. The blem is so subtle that most would never see it. I'd do it again and would recommend it to others as long as you stick with the blems and not the ones with buzzing or neck issues unless you know how to fix them.

Macmuse
02-01-2013, 02:07 PM
I caved for one of the baritones. It's a spruce top and very guitar like to my ear, but nice. Just arrived this afternoon.

It was the one listed with too much glue at the nut - they took quite the close up of it.

Glue? what glue. I can't find it. It has a bit of a ding right at the top of the headstock but it's minor (want to find a way to seal that up though if I can).

Had a few eBay bucks left to knock it down a tiny bit more and this was just a super way to get to play around with a baritone!